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Chapter 355 – Offloading

    Chapter 355 - Offloading

    Asskickers United had spent all gold available to them. The guild treasury was completely empty. The guild members also suffered disastrous losses. They were hunted down by other players every time they stepped foot out of the city. What little gold they did manage to earn would be eaten up by the cost of recovering from their losses. They couldn't even get any levelling done.

    This was simply too much of an ordeal. Some players could no longer endure and withdrew from the guild. Even though they were willing to become members, they had no real attachments to the guild. They were far from optimistic about coming out on top in this conflict against Bloodlust Blades, feeling Asskickers United would be the first to fall. Such occurrences were common in intense wars of attrition. Roughly 6,000 players had left the guild, with only 60,000 remaining. However, that number was still dropping.

    "Let them leave if they want. We can't rely on such players to grow the guild. We'll just recruit new people later on. This is an opportunity to weed out the coattail riders. The members staying behind are the ones who truly make up the heart of the guild, so make sure to reward them properly after all this is over," Nie Yan said after Guo Huai briefed him on the situation.

    "The problem is, how are we going to get through this crisis? Our guild treasury is empty. We're basically running on fumes," Guo Huai said with an anxious look. The situation had developed far beyond his expectations. Asskickers United and Bloodlust Blades had become the targets of everyone. However, there was nothing that could be done. It was their own fault for putting up such lucrative bounties! The number of players participating was constantly increasing, meaning more and more gold had to be spent every day paying out rewards and compensating losses.

    Guo Huai initially thought they could hold out for at least 10 days. Who could have known they would be on the verge of collapse before even five days! After managing the guild for so long, he had deep attachments to it, even using his own personal funds to purchase gold so he could support the guild. He really didn't want to see the guild he painstakingly built from the ground up fall in such a way.

    Nie Yan chuckled. "Leave it to me. For now, take this 50,000 gold to tide us over."

    "50,000 gold isn't enough." Guo Huai shook his head. "It'll probably keep us afloat for the afternoon, and even that's uncertain..." He was all too familiar with how fast their gold was draining away.

    "Don't worry, I also brought a lot of equipment with me back from the Underworld," Nie Yan said with a confident smile. His bags were all filled to the brim. To borrow the words of Plenty, they would certainly earn a staggering amount from selling everything he had smuggled back.

    "I see, that's good. Let's cope as best as we can." Judging from his confident appearance, Guo Huai believed Nie Yan had secured around 100,000 gold's worth of equipment, which would last them a day or two.

    Bloodlust Blades was also suffering. It was possible this 100,000 gold was just what Asskickers United needed to come out on top in this war.

    Never in his wildest dreams could Guo Huai have imagined that Nie Yan hadn't secured 100,000 gold's worth of equipment but rather 1,000,000!

    Guo Huai couldn't be blamed for his faulty conjecture. Even in the best case scenario, Nie Yan could have only secured 100,000 gold's worth of equipment working by himself in the Underworld. However, thanks to the assistance of Plenty and all of Fallen Angel, he had come back with five bags full of top quality equipment!

    While Nie Yan and Guo Huai chatted, Bladelight, Undying Scoundrel, Summer Bug, and the rest of the gang arrived as well. They showed excited expressions when they saw Nie Yan.

    "Boss! When we heard you returned, we rushed back to see you!"

    Seeing this familiar group of faces, Nie Yan's lips parted into a warm smile. He noticed Undying Scoundrel was only wearing Level 40 equipment. His level was only 43.

    Nie Yan patted Undying Scoundrel's shoulders with a faint smile. "How did you end up in such a miserable state?"

    "I was ambushed and surrounded while levelling outside. I lost all my equipment and dropped a few levels. I still haven't gotten the chance to recover," Undying Scoundrel replied with an awkward chuckle.

    Nie Yan's expression slightly trembled. Since the guild treasury was empty, it was impossible for Undying Scoundrel to recover from such a setback. Without decent equipment, levelling up became much harder. Given he had dropped down to Level 43, it appeared he dropped quite a few levels after dying.

    "Boss, ignore him. Who told him to be so reckless? When he got surrounded, he started going on a player killing rampage instead of running away. It would be strange if he didn't die," Summer Bug interjected.

    It wasn't just Undying Scoundrel. Nie Yan noticed lower-quality equipment here and there on all of them. Their levels had also stagnated. It was only Tang Yao who appeared relatively unaffected. Thanks to recently acquiring a few special items, he started levelling by himself in high level maps, where few players could follow.

    "Boss, now that you're back we can rest easy. Bloodlust Blades is losing guild members even faster than us every day. I refuse to believe they'll outlast us!" Undying Scoundrel said optimistically.

    Nie Yan was moved as he looked at this group of players. He had reviewed the guild logs. Since the guild couldn't compensate them according to the terms of their contract, many contracted members had left. The ones who still remained behind despite these hardships were the most faithful brothers of the guild! Their loyalty was without question!

    Nie Yan showed a bright smile. "You guys can put your worries to rest. Our lack of funds will be resolved soon enough. Asskickers United will always stand strong. We'll never lose! No matter how rich Bloodlust Blades is, they'll still fall before us!"

    "Boss, we believe in you!"

    Everyone had complete faith in Nie Yan. He definitely had a way to resolve this issue; otherwise, he wouldn't have spoken with such confidence. The worry in their hearts vanished like a puff of smoke. Even though they were loyal to Asskickers United, they couldn't help but feel nervous deep down. The past few days had been some of the most trying for the guild. Even their group was worried the guild would collapse, to say nothing of the lower ranking members!

    Nie Yan gazed at Smoke Stub who smiled back at him. It was clear he was determined to stick with Asskickers United through thick and thin. Any further words would simply be superfluous.

    Sometimes words weren't required to communicate.

    "Guo Huai, Smoke Stub, go sort through the guild's records and calculate how much each player has lost," Nie Yan ordered.

    "Alright!" Guo Huai nodded.

    Nie Yan turned to Undying Scoundrel and the others. "You guys should go off levelling. I'll call for you guys if I need you.

    When everyone departed, Nie Yan also got to work. He bought a large cloak to prevent himself from being recognized, then prepared to head to various large auction houses to offload the equipment he acquired in the Underworld. He first visited the Calore Central Auction House and listed three pieces of equipment with Night Vision +10 or higher up for auction, setting the starting bid for each of them to around 2,000 gold.

    Equipment with Night Vision +10 or higher was considered high-end. The number of players who could afford them weren't many, but they absolutely weren't few either. It was fairly normal for wealthy players to have upwards of 20,000 gold. Some of them were whales who frequently spent exorbitant amounts of real world cash to purchase in-game gold. A subset of them were experts. If something caught their eye, especially if it was rare, they naturally wouldn't hesitate to buy.

    Beyond this, many players had profited immensely off the conflict between Asskickers United and Bloodlust Blades, with some earning upwards of 30,000 gold. They would naturally use these recently obtained funds to upgrade their gear, and equipment that increased Night Vision was some of the most useful!

    Nie Yan's actions immediately stirred up waves, inciting players into an unprecedented bidding war. Pieces of equipment with Night Vision +10 or higher were basically never seen. Ones that increased Night Vision at all were already considered quite good.

    Players generally only swapped out their regular equipment for Night Vision equipment when they had to enter dark environments like caves. Even though this increased their chances of survival, there was usually a trade-off in other stats. A piece of equipment with Night Vision +10 would greatly mitigate this issue!

    It wasn't every day three pieces of equipment with Night Vision +10 or higher appeared in the marketplace, so the players naturally lost their minds.

    The bids on the three pieces of equipment started rapidly climbing, increasing by increments of at least 5 gold every time.

    Many players were flooding into the Central Auction House. All of them were there for the Night Vision equipment.

    "I heard some equipment with Night Vision +10 popped up in the Central Auction House."

    "Night Vision +10? I wonder where you can find equipment like that."

    ...

    News of the Night Vision equipment spread like a wildfire in the streets. Nie Yan never imagined word would get around so fast.

    The Central Auction House was crowded even more than usual with players. The first piece of equipment with Night Vision +11 sold for over 3,000 gold after there'd been no new bidder for five minutes. The two other pieces of equipment with Night Vision +10 sold for 2,300 gold and 2,200 gold respectively.

    When the three pieces of Night Vision equipment were sold, everyone became a bit downtrodden. As they were about to leave, another three pieces were listed up for auction, immediately causing an uproar. Just when did equipment with Night Vision +10 or higher become as common as cabbage?

    "Fuck, who's the person behind this? Why did so much Night Vision equipment suddenly appear?"

    Everyone looked around, but the auction house was a sea of players. Who could find anyone in such a densely packed crowd?

    The mad scramble was far from over. There were still many people who needed Night Vision equipment. Although the competition was still fierce, the rate at which the bids increased slowed down noticeably. They were worried the person selling the Night Vision equipment was sitting on a large stockpile. If they were patient, maybe they could snag a piece for cheap.

    Nie Yan stood up and walked out of the Central Auction House. Staying any longer would only lead to less profit. Even when offloading equipment, it was important to pay attention to strategy.
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